Arizona’s new Democratic governor will continue her Republican predecessor’s policy of busing migrants north, with some changes.
In a news conference Friday, Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) left open the possibility of keeping the busing policy but said her administration would verify its efficacy.
“We need to look at that practice and make sure that it’s effective, [that] it’s something that supports local communities. If we’re spending the money to bus people, why not just get them to their final destination?” Hobbs told reporters near the end of a 16-minute press conference.
Former Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) in May began a policy of busing north migrants released by federal authorities in border communities.
Ducey joined fellow GOP Govs. Greg Abbott of Texas and Ron DeSantis of Florida in ordering similar policies, which critics say were a ploy to portray migrants as a burden.
But Ducey’s relocation policy was different from Abbott’s and DeSantis’s — Arizona coordinated drop-offs with local jurisdictions and at least one nongovernmental organization, and Ducey’s administration said migrants were informed of their final destination before boarding.
Still, many advocacy groups criticized Ducey for engaging in what they saw as a political stunt.
Hobbs press secretary Josselyn Berry told the Arizona Republic that the new Democratic administration would more closely coordinate destinations with the migrants and engage in relocations in “a more cost effective way.”
Hobbs’s office did not immediately return a request for comment on this story.
While Hobbs did not criticize Ducey’s relocation policy, she did lash out at the former governor’s other signature border policy, building a container wall on the border.
“It’s unfortunate that almost $200 million were spent on this shipping container publicity stunt,” Hobbs told reporters.